Halifax v Leeds Rhinos: Winger Luke Briscoe expecting Fax battle

Luke Briscoe.
Luke Briscoe.
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PROLIFIC TRY scorer Luke Briscoe knows what Leeds Rhinos can expect at Halifax tomorrow – and reckons they are in for a battle.

The winger was a member of the Featherstone Rovers squad pipped to fourth place in the Betfred Championship by Halifax.

Luke Briscoe is congratulated after scoring against Widnes.

Luke Briscoe is congratulated after scoring against Widnes.

The part-timers have yet to win in the Qualifiers, but are expecting a bumper crowd at MBI Shay Stadium for Leeds’ first visit since 2003 and Briscoe says Rhinos have to play well.

“It will be tough,” predicted the winger, whose run of tries in 17 successive games for Featherstone earlier this year equalled the best scoring sequence in British rugby league history.

“Any game in the middle-eights is tough and Halifax will come ready and raring.

“They’ll want to have a shot at us, they are a good side and they can play.

“It is a good pitch there and good facilities and it should be a good game.”

Though a Leeds win would virtually guarantee top-flight rugby next year, Briscoe warned: “We are still in a fight.

“Every game we’ve got to go and win. We can’t just expect to win in the middle-eights.”

But he said: “There’s a lot more spirit around the group with the win [against Salford] last week and we’ll take that into Sunday.

“Week by week, from when I first started, you can tell the team’s getting closer back together and there’s more morale there.” Briscoe joined Rhinos for a third time in June and has played in their last four games since Ryan Hall suffered a season-ending knee injury.

With Hall joining Australian giants Sydney Roosters on a two-year deal beginning next season, Briscoe has an opportunity to nail down a place in Rhinos’ squad for 2019 and beyond.

He confirmed: “I’d like to stay, but we’ll see what happens.

“It’s good to be back full-time.

“Since I’ve been back we’ve been getting the results, I am enjoying it and it’s going well.

“I’m taking it week by week and trying to carry on what I’ve been doing all year at Featherstone and it’s paying off.”

Rhinos have a Briscoe on both wings with Luke’s elder brother Tom having scored 17 tries in 31 games on the right-flank.

“I’ve played a few games with him now and it just feels like the norm,” Luke said.

“When I first started it was a good feeling. To play in the same position on opposite sides, it’s a good thing to do.

“We are close and if I ever need anything he’s there. We like to play off the back of each other and it seems to be working.”

Since his move to Leeds, Briscoe has also been playing on dual-registration for his former club.

The 24-year-old has been nominated for the Championship player of the year honour, which will be awarded at the competition’s annual dinner on Tuesday.

“I feel like I’ve had a good year,” he added.

“Being up for that, it is a good finish to the year as well.”

Briscoe was also this week named Rovers’ player and player’ player of the year, as well as taking their top try scorer award after touching down 33 times in 24 games.